If you’ve been to Marine Drive before it was arrested by the development of the Mumbai Coastal Road Project, you must have noticed two brown pillars standing there. This structure is the Parsi Gate which was one of the casualties of the MCRP. The BMC will soon relocate it approximately 75 metres from its original location. But why is the structure so important to Parsis? Read on to find out the answer to this question.
Mumbai’s Parsi Gate To Be Restored At Marine Drive
(1of2) The Paris Gate at Marine drive. A recent news in The Hindu stated ‘Mumbai’s heritage Parsi Gate to be removed to make way for Coastal Road construction’.
One of those numerous Bombay’s heritage spots that are easily missed by most who visit Marine drive.#Mumbai #Bombay pic.twitter.com/M3iinMOzRF
— Nikhil Katyal (@katyalnikhil) September 10, 2019
Their weathered brown colour makes them an easily-missed object. But these pillars are more than a century old! Owing to the MCRP, this sacred structure was dismantled by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation or the BMC. Now, they are planning to restore it. The original stone from the pillars was stored in a safe space by the BMC.
Now, they will re-erect it opposite Taraporewala Aquarium which is approximately 75 metres from its original location. It was taken down in April 2021 and there was a significant protest from the community. According to an article recently published by The Indian Express, the Bombay Parsi Punchayet or the BPP even started an online signature campaign and even wrote to civic officials.
Some architects even drew up alternative tunnel routes that wouldn’t require the pillars to be moved. However, the BMC persisted in taking it down. As per reports, the restoration work of the pillar will be completed by the next year in April. The gates are clearly very sacred to the community. But have you ever wondered what its significance is?
Here’s Why It Is Sacred To Parsis
Avan Yataza, female Angel who presides over water, may not survive Greed for Speed and Speed for Money-known as the Coastal Road Project?Dismantling Parsi Gate on Marine Drive? Can Tata step in? Shapoorji Pallonji done Slum Redvpt know people? @mybmc @AUThackeray @saveourcoastMUM pic.twitter.com/cw4vfLOZed
— Ajit Dayal (@AjitDayal2) June 30, 2020
Parsis visit the gate to worship the Goddess or Angel of water, Ava Yazad. She is a female divinity and presides over the water. In the Parsi month of Ava, devotees flock to these gates to worship and seek blessings from the divine goddess. Late in October this year, Rayomand Zaiwala filed an RTI to find out more about the site’s restoration plans.
In The Indian Express article, he also reminisced how his grandmother visited the holy site during Ava, which happened to be between March and April. Now that its restoration plans are in full swing, the community can breathe a sigh of relief.
The Parsi Gates were not just visited by the Parsis. Many Hindus, too, visited the gates to give offerings to the water during Poornima. It was constructed in 1916 by Bhagoji Keer and Pallonjis.
Have you been to the Parsi Gate before? What do you feel about the fact that it was relocated despite the community’s protests against doing so? Let us know in the comments section below!
Cover Image Credits: @katyalnikhil/X (Formerly, Twitter)
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